Percocet is one of the most commonly prescribed opiate pain pills in the United States. It is frequently prescribed for people experiencing serious pain after some type of accident or surgery. Continued use can lead to dependence, forcing someone to increase the amount taken to reach the same effects, and further use results in full-blown addiction. Being able to identify the signs of Percocet addiction can help you learn how to tell if your loved one needs help. If you feel that a loved one is abusing Percocet, it is important to seek medical help and counseling immediately to safely stop the addiction before it progresses any further.
How To Tell If My Loved One Is Addicted To Percocet
Educating yourself regarding the signs of Percocet addiction can alert you to their addiction and help them seek treatment. Though you cannot force them to quit, knowing what to look out for can help prevent a possible overdose. Some common signs include:
- Continuing opioid use after the doctor’s recommended time period, or choosing to take the pills “just in case” of pain that is not already present.
- Mood swings from intense feelings of euphoria to aggression.
- Disrupted sleeping or eating patterns.
- Borrowing medications from others or “losing” theirs so a new prescription has to be written.
- Visiting multiple doctors to get the same prescription in case they need more.
- Increased tolerance for Percocet, which leads someone to “need” more to feel the same effect.
- Increased sensitivity to pain.
- Sleepiness, dizziness or confusion, and depression.
Though some people are able to use Percocet for injury as directed without developing an addiction, there are a couple of risk factors that increase a person’s likelihood of becoming addicted to prescription painkillers. Younger people are at an increased risk for developing an addiction, especially to painkillers. If someone lives in a stressful situation, has a personal or familial history of substance abuse, or has struggled with severe depression or anxiety, taking these painkillers can pose an increased risk of addiction.
Questions To Ask Yourself
Knowing whether or not a loved one is addicted to Percocet can be difficult, especially if he or she has a prescription for them. Because these pills are used to treat serious injuries or severe pain, many people don’t even realize that they’ve become addicted until it’s time to stop taking them and they can’t. Being addicted to painkillers is one thing, but when that addiction is no longer serviced through a prescription, someone may turn to street painkillers and even heroin to satisfy their cravings.
It is also important to look at your behaviors when it comes to a loved one that may be addicted to painkillers.
- Are you constantly worried about what they’re taking or how much of it they’re taking?
- Do you make excuses for them or write off strange behaviors because there’s just no way your loved one could be “an addict”?
- Do you try to avoid confrontation with your loved one at all costs for fear of their mood swings?
- Do you enable their drug abuse by giving them money whenever they need it or by helping with their responsibilities that they could otherwise be doing if not for the effects of the drug?
- Do you ignore their negative behaviors?
Supporting Someone With a Percocet Addiction
Though you cannot force someone to get help for their addiction, you can make sure that you avoid enabling or indirectly supporting their drug use. Ignoring the problem and trying to make it seem like their opioid use is okay won’t help the situation, and it could in fact lead them to believe that their drug use is okay. You can still show your loved one that you care and want to support them without enabling their Percoet addiction by doing things such as:
- Setting Boundaries: Make it known that their drug use will not be tolerated near you. You can’t decide what they do, but you can let them know what makes you uncomfortable. Let this person know you will not supply them with money for their drug use or help pay for any run-ins with the law as a result of their use.
- Don’t Lie For Them: Let your loved one know that you will not make excuses for their drug use to anyone. This is especially important if a doctor asks you about their medication management. Being honest could get them the most help from their doctor.
- Participating in Family Therapy: Being involved in the recovery process is one way to show your support and help your loved one through this very difficult time. Support groups like Al-Anon provide support for family members of people struggling with addiction, and going with your loved one to individual therapy can help you to understand them and their addiction in a way that allows you to help them in the best way possible.
- Communicating: Even if they tell you they don’t want to get help or that they don’t have a problem, make it very clear that they can talk to you about anything and that you are willing and able to help them when the time comes that they are ready to get help.
If you are questioning whether or not they have been abusing painkillers and whether or not they have a problem, then it is time to educate yourself on the disease of addiction and come up with the best possible plan to approach your loved one. Waiting for rock bottom, or for an overdose, is not going to help them realize they need help. It is critical that your loved one seek help for their addiction as soon as they can.
My Loved One Has a Problem: Now What?
If you believe that your loved one has a problem, it is important to communicate this problem as soon as possible before the addiction creates real harm in their life or the lives of others. It can be tricky to confront someone about painkillers, especially when they may be taking them for legitimate reasons and not realizing that their increasing use can lead to addiction.
It is important to understand that the increased and extended use of Percocet causes an increase in the production of dopamine and other endorphins in the brain that increase positive and relaxed feelings. Over time, the brain requires that drug to produce those positive feelings, and this is what causes tolerance to increase and addiction to occur. So they can’t just stop, especially because of the uncomfortable and sometimes painful withdrawal effects that can cause physical illness. Physical withdrawal symptoms are similar to a very bad case of the flu, but mentally, clients report feeling intense anxiety, depression, irritability, and agitation due to increased cravings for the drug.
Asking them to see a doctor for medication management is a good way of addressing the problem that can help the pain they may actually have. A doctor can explain the side effects of prolonged use and can prescribe different, less addictive pain medications if addiction is a concern. Staying involved in their medical health and medication management is a good way of staying aware of how much they may be taking, and by remaining aware, you are more able to help them if addiction becomes an issue.
If your loved one is reliant on a drug and cannot stop by themselves, seeking clinical treatment for Percoet addiction is critical in getting sober and maintaining a sober lifestyle. These drugs are extremely addictive and very difficult to stop using unless someone has help. Our dedicated team of treatment professionals has experience on both sides of addiction, as some of our staff are in recovery themselves. We understand how difficult this can be, but we also know that it is possible if someone has support and guidance along the way. Give us a call today, and see how we can help you and your loved one find freedom from prescription opioid addiction today.